AMS Spring 2023

All Things Fall – A Horrifying and Artistic Use of 3D Printing by Mat Collishaw

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‘All Things Fall’ was inspired by The Massacre of the Innocents masterpieces, paintings which resonate with biblical horror. The brutality and struggle of the scenes depicted within the paintings are the epitome of classical artistic themes.

London artist Mat Collishaw, the creator of a stunning, 3D printed zoetrope he calls ‘All Things Fall,’ said it was his aim to pay homage to the pieces that led him to build his rotating, terrifying modern update.

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Detail of All Things Fall

Collishaw received a BFA from Goldsmith College, London, in 1989 and began his career with the creation of an acclaimed work, Bullet Hole, and followed that up with a pair of exhibits curated by his long-term friend, Damien Hirst.

The Massacre of the Innocents paintings thrive on the repetition of characters spread across the canvas. They are designed to excite our emotions and to keep our eyes moving around the surface in an agitated manner without intimacy and with no focal point. The zoetrope capitalizes on this, literally repeating characters to create an overwhelming orgy of violence that is simultaneously appalling and compelling.”

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Mat Collishaw

A zoetrope is a device that produces the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of drawings, photographs, or figures which show progressive phases of motion. A typical zoetrope consists of a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides, and as the cylinder spins, a user looks through the slits at the figures or images within. As the slits move, their motion prevents the images from blurring and the user experiences the rapid succession of figures or images as being in motion.

“I redesigned a scene of the Massacre of the Innocents, using drawings, cardboard models and eventually CAD diagrams,” Collishaw said. “These files were then 3D printed, and the entire scene was assembled. The Temple incorporating the characters I’d designed were programmed to spin at 60 rotations per minute while a synchronized LED light flashed 18 times every second. This results is the illusion of movement, roughly based on the Victorian optical toy, the zoetrope.”

Zeotrope, All Things Fall 3d printedThe piece is a tour-de-force of both modern technology and classical inspiration. As the aluminum platform which supports the enormous sculpture spins, the static and nearly incomprehensible work is suddenly transformed into a balletic display of the most gruesome – and beautiful – art imaginable.

Over the past decade, Collishaw has seen his work exhibited in solo shows around the world at venues like the Cohen Gallery in New York, the Galeria d’Arte Moderne in Bologna, Italy, the Royal Academy of Art in London, the Saatchi Gallery and the Brooklyn Museum.

‘All Things Fall’ is now on display as part of the “Black Mirror” exhibition at the Galleria Borghese in Rome.

But this latest work isn’t Collishaw’s only foray into 3D printing. He also created another zoetrope which relied heavily on the technology, Throbbing Gristle.

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The Massacre of the Innocents

What do you think of Mat Collishaw’s 3D printed sculptural art? You can weigh in on your take, and maybe tell us about other 3D printing artists you love or loathe, in the Artistic Use of 3D Printing by Mat Collishaw forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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